3 Count: Zombie Lawsuit

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1: Pirate Bay Back in the Courtroom

First off today, the Pirate Bay admins, or at least the ones that were convicted of criminal charges in Sweden earlier this year, are back in court facing a new order to remove copyright infringing material, this time from a Dutch company, and may face fines of up to $9 million if they do not do so.

The admins, however, claim that they no longer have control of the site, having sold it off some time ago to a company based in the Seychelles (a small island group north of Madagascar) and thus have no control over the content. However, the copyright holders claim that the offshore company was created by one of the defendants, who is still the director.

The defendants challenge this and also dispute some of the other evidence provided by copyright holders and their evidence-collecting firm.

2: Decision Could Clear Way for SCO-Novell Trial

Next up today, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to revisit its ruling in the Novell-SCO case, possibly clearing a way for a trial between the two companies.

In August, the court had overturned a lower court ruling saying that the issue of who owns the copyright in Unix was unclear enough and should not have been decided without a trial, which is what Novell had asked the court to revisit. The lower court had said Novell was the rightful copyright holder, thus short circuiting SCO’s attempt to sue IBM, which it accuses of placing Unix code into Linux.

If SCO is able to prove it is the copyright holder of Unix it would then be forced to prove that infringing code from it wound up in Linux, something it has failed to do so to date, despite the case having begun in 2004. Since then, SCO has filed for bankruptcy protection and, more recently, fired its controversial CEO, Darl McBride, who was also the public face of the litigation campaign.

3: Jail Time for Falls Church Man in eBay Fraud

Finally today, in a case that proves just how serious copyright infringement can be, Gregory William Fair was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $743,098 for selling pirated software on the auction site eBay. He has also forfeited $144,000 in cash, a BMW525i, a Hummer H2, a Mercedes CL600 and a 1969 Pontiac GTO, all of which prosecutors claim he purchased with his ill-gotten earnings.

The case was just one of 39 according to the Justice Department involving similar distribution of counterfeit software.

Suggestions

That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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